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GT Scholars Pilot Programme is launched
GT Scholars was founded by social entrepreneur Temi Kamson – a Maths teacher and University of Cambridge Alumni. Temi launched the first GT Scholars programme in 2013. At the time, she was approached by some young people living locally to her, asking for support with improving their grades. From her experience in teaching, she knew that most young people were ambitious and wanted to reach their full potential but they often had no idea how to get started. Passionate about social mobility and having come from a working-class background herself, Temi knew that the young people would need more than just tutoring if they wanted to achieve their academic and career aspirations.
Temi found herself spending the next few weeks designing a programme of support which included tutoring sessions, mentoring sessions and workshops to improve study skills, resilience and motivation. She found a local library to run the pilot programme and she decided to go against the traditional charity model and use a unique means-tested model for funding the programme. She asked parents to contribute an affordable fee to the programme to ensure attendance and engagement and within a few weeks, she was able to enlist volunteers to provide tutoring and mentoring support to the young people.
By the end of the pilot year, it was clear that the multi-strategy approach, using a combination of tutoring, mentoring, enrichment and skill-building, was highly effective. The volunteer mentors and tutors as well as parents, saw a transformation in the young people including improved grades, raised aspirations and an increase in confidence, motivation and resilience – this spurred Temi to set up GT Scholars CIC & GT Scholars Foundation.